Reading To Some Purpose

…and that purpose is “Keep Leigh Away From The Computer”. Getting a bit fed up with programming and web surfing recently, so I decided it was time to pick up my reading habit once more.
Here’s where my paper-surfing has been taking me. In case you’re interested.

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Strange Banana

Further proof to myself that my design skills could easily be replaced by a small shell script: Strange Banana: computer-generated webpage design.
I’ve been idly clicking through this for a couple of minutes and seen layouts that were quite reasonable. Better than I could have produced anyway, but that’s not saying much really. Maybe someone should hook it up to a MT, Manila, etc template generator.
Nice XHTML + CSS demo too. Look ma, no tables!

Refer a Friend to FOAF-a-Matic

Norm Walsh emailed me to note that the “refer a friend” link from the FOAF-a-Matic is broken. D’oh!
It’s pretty simple, so thought I’d jot it down here.
Basically the javascript code will read three additional parameters in the URL:

  • name — your full name
  • email — your email
  • seealso — location of your FOAF file

Obviously the values of all of these need to be URL encoded. Here’s an example:
If you then give someone a link to the FOAF-a-Matic with those parameters, it’ll fill you in as their first friend and their FOAF file will automatically have a link to yours. This is a quick way to get your friends into the FOAF network without them having to hand edit their FOAF too much.
btw, planning to revive Mark 2 shortly once the next version of the Jena API settles down.

Autodiscovery Bookmarklet Generator

The Autodiscovery Bookmarklet Generator will generate Javascript bookmarklet code for autodiscovering metadata linked from an HTML document using the LINK tag. Thought it might be useful for folks wanting to glue various services together.
This has had absolutely minimal testing (i.e. I’ve checked it against FOAF and RSS examples) so let me know if you have any problems.
Its part of a suite of micro-utils I’m developing: tiny, but useful bits of code.

Conferences On the Web

Edd Dumbill and Dave Beckett have set up a Chump bot to allow community coverage of WWW2003. This is an excellent idea, and will sure to be packed full of useful and interesting links.
However one thing I’d like to see conference organisers do more of is to make the presentations available over the web as streaming video, or even just audio. While a certain amount can be gleaned from reading slides published after the fact, there’s nothing like seeing a presentation for yourself. And it doesn’t seem like the technology is that hard or expensive to actually deploy.
I’d certainly pay money for a service like this as there are a vast number of conferences which I’d love to attend but can’t (usually for cost of travel reasons).